Personal Defense Ammunition hollow points
Do you have enough ammo? (Photo credit: Kat Ainsworth)
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We’ve all seen the headlines and “breaking news” reports expressing delighted horror over the “stockpile” found in a suspect’s home. Maybe it’s three rifles and 250 rounds of ammo. Maybe it’s 10 rifles and 1,000 rounds of ammo.

HUGE arsenal of guns and ammunition found in the home of….

Amounts of ammo that strike terror in the hearts of beat reporters everywhere make most gun owners shake their heads. But how much ammunition do you really need – with “need” being a wildly subjective term?

Can you ever really have enough?

There are so many factors to consider it’s difficult to know where to begin. Given the current climate, let’s go with a lockdown scenario for an unspecified length of time with the stores stripped of ammunition as many currently are.

Let’s say you are unable to buy ammunition for up to 90 days and in that time, you are facing a lockdown, maybe a curfew, possible martial law, and a slim chance of riots and looting.

David Werner, who works at a gun store and range in Loveland, Colorado said, “We have limited ammo sales to our members and people using our range. One hundred rounds of common calibers and one box of defensive ammo. If you are looking now you are far too late.”

Hear that? Most stores are sold out and some are now trying to keep their loyal customers covered (good for them).

Oh, and remember, law enforcement is increasingly not responding to non-violent crimes such as burgalary and theft. They’re relying on a “catch and release” method rather than arrests for a multitude of crimes. How long do you think it will be before criminal acts increase in frequency and violence because the bad guys are well aware LE isn’t responding?

Something I’m seeing is a surprising amount of “It’ll never happen to me/I can’t believe it’s happening to me” thinking within the gun world. I’m not talking about new gun owners here, I’m talking people who should know better. People who are involved in supposedly spreading the Gospel of the Gun. People who really have no excuse not to be at least somewhat prepared.

Instead I’m discovering guys I thought would be at least kinda-sorta prepared and really only have 50 rounds of FMJs collecting dust on a shelf and 20 rounds of defensive ammo. That’s it.

I’ve run into a bunch of guys with only hunting loads, none of which are truly suitable for personal defense for their shotguns. Guys who “always meant” to buy that AR pattern rifle or a decent quality handgun and now are scrambling for one.

Well, it’s happening and if you aren’t prepared, you’re kind of SOL right now.


First, a word on the current state of people scrambling for products.

I’ve been approached through social media and via email by so many people asking for help getting a gun, I’ve lost count. They’re asking me to give or sell them one of my guns, or asking me to give or sell them some of my ammo.

Those guys – yes they’re all men – aren’t friends, they’re mostly readers or casual acquaintances. Throw in a handful of people who probably Googled and saw an article I wrote about the Uber Blaster 1000 or how to defend your home and it’s become quite a mess. They’re not prepared and they now hope the serious gun owners will take care of them.

Hmm, didn’t we predict this happening in case of emergencies?

Check out John Boch’s piece How Do You Handle People Who Suddenly Want to Borrow a Gun. Apply that principle to ammo as you wish (granted, you can’t exactly lend out ammo, it’s a consumable).

Bare Minimum Amounts of Ammo

You’ll find a lot of varying opinions on what the minimum round count should be in your ammunition stash. Some say 500 rounds is enough, some say 1,000, and others say 2,000. So how do we get to an answer? We don’t, not really. Here are a few examples:

A few numbers to mull over, though. During the 1986 FBI Miami Shootout approximately 145 shots were fired in under five minutes. In this case we’re talking about FBI agents likely trying to account for shots, not firing wantonly with no thought other than taking down a target.

Then there’s the average police-involved shooting which typically involves about four shots fired. Many, however, involve 20 shots fired or more, and that’s just in a matter of seconds.

Factor in how many shots actually strike the target and how many shots it takes to stop the threat – which depends on shot placement, your ammo, and whether the threat is hopped up on drugs – and things get kind of crazy trying to guesstimate how many rounds you’ll need.

That Desert Eagle, though… (Photo credit: Kat Ainsworth)

Then there’s the kind of self-defense situation you may find yourself in. Is it a one-on-one attack? Are you up against three or more home invaders? Is your home under full-on assault by an unknown number of looters?

Is this at close range and you’re using your handgun or do you only have access to your rifle? Is a shotgun the only firearm in your bedroom or all you were able to grab? Do you understand how shotgun patterning works at different distances?

What about the frequency of shots fired? Maybe you can’t run your trigger accurately with incredible speed, but a lot of shooters can (we practiced…before the SHTF). The downside to that speed is more shots fired in a smaller window of time. The upside is they’re hopefully on target and end the threat faster with less risk to your own life or those of your family.

As you can see, it’s flat-out impossible to account for every variable so don’t even try. You’ll just give yourself a migraine.

Bare minimum? I’d feel comfortable with thousand rounds of ammo per defensive firearm, bumping that up to 2,000 rounds minimum for your defensive rifle. You will burn through ammo faster than you think during a fight for your life and the lives of your family members.

I can run the trigger on my favorite AR-15 fast enough to put five shots on target in a decent group in about one second. A friend of mine, Jonathon Disher, ran his AR-15 with fantastic speed firing 5 shots in 0.88 seconds, 0.2 seconds of which was shouldering the rifle at the beep, meaning it was really 0.68 seconds for shots fired. On target. Fast and accurate.

If you prefer a hunting-related example, let’s go to sounders of hogs. Ever been involved in an all-out mag dump situation on a sounder of running feral swine? In under 90 seconds you can easily burn through your loaded mags — whatever you had on you — whether it’s three 20-round mags or more.

I’ve watched guys with full-auto burn through so much ammo on hogs in such a short time frame – and miss. Yeah, they miss.

Mag dumps are never A Good Idea. Remember, you’re responsible for every shot fired whether you’re stopping a two-legged threat or hunting four-legged game for food.

Ideally? I’d like 5,000 to 10,000 rounds per defensive firearm. Hunting-only guns – not that there is such a thing as a hunting-only gun in my house – you’re fine going for a lower round count.

Now, feel free to unleash in the comments as to how this is a totally unrealistic number of rounds to keep arund. And consider this my “those are rookie numbers” response to people who think 1,000 or less is just fine for a long-term TEOWAWKI situation.

Remember, if an unknown amount of time is passing by before you can refresh your ammunition inventory and there’s rioting, looting, and similar violence going on, you need all the ammo you can get.

You may be trying to make new shooters competent enough to help with home defense, helping to police your small community…who knows. Plan accordingly for the uses you can forecast.

Also keep in mind you’ll need more ammo to keep a larger number of guns loaded if it’s not just you, but family members or friends using the guns.

Side note: you are not John Wayne and this is not a movie. Is helping others out a great thing in tough times? Sure, but take care of yourself and your family first and foremost.

Just because the SHTF doesn’t mean you should take it upon yourself to be a crime fighter. Worry about your own mess. Be realistic. Leave enforcing the law to law enforcement. Don’t go stupid places with stupid people and do stupid things. Especially now.

Those Boutique Rounds Though…

If you’re a fan of some random boutique round and have one or more unique guns chambered in said boutique rounds, those aren’t the calibers to focus on stocking. You are better off stashing the common calibers – assuming you have the guns to go with them, of course – than you are messing with those strange and unusual ones.

If all you have is a random gun chambered in 7.65x25mm Tokarev, of course, get an ammo pile going for it. But if you have more common caliber guns, focus on those first.


A word on storage. Ammo should be stored in a cool, dry place. This is where ammo cans and dessicants come into play. With proper storage your ammo will be just fine for years (this isn’t the time to get into the details of rotating your stock and when to shoot and replace it).

Book Ideas

Prepper Guns by Bryce Towsley

Hey, I’m a writer. Of course I’m going to suggest applicable books. And right now, there are a lot of you at home with time on your hands.

Check out Prepper Guns by Bryce Towsley, a gun guy who really does know his stuff.

Written with the law-abiding civilian in mind, Prepper Guns covers the firearms and tools needed to survive, not only for defense, but also for foraging. It is a comprehensive look at the realities of the firearms a prepper should have.

It’s excellent and you can take a look at it here. You can also hit Bryce’s website to look at all his titles. Another good resource is books by the late Mel Tappan such as Tappan on Survival and Survival Guns.

Reality Check

Preparing for the unknown means trying to think of possible scenarios and gathering the supplies you need to handle said scenarios. You cannot plan for every eventuality because the universe does love to throw you curve balls, but you do your best.

Stocking up on ammo takes time and patience. And right now, it’s pretty difficult. If you’ve been caught totally unprepared, learn from it. Work harder to do better in the future — we will get past this and there is still a future — and hope this isn’t the time you learn that being unprepared might get someone hurt or killed.

Everyone laughs at the preppers and the rednecks…until now.






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        • Sounds about right to me too. Most of what I am short of is .22LR, a noncritical issue. But that is one of those rounds that if you have less than 5000 you don’t have enough.

        • Mark, I agree. I shoot a lot of .22lr, because it is, for me, a great practice round, especially for trigger control. Plus, it’s a cheap date on range day.
          I don’t count on it as a HD caliber, though, as I have other guns for that.
          But practice is essential, and for practice, you need a lot of ammo, no matter what caliber.
          For range ammo, I buy cheap and in bulk. It isn’t the most accurate way to go about it, but for practice (and fun), it’s the way I go.

      • I actually don’t want more. I have young kids and for my comfort lock and nanny state laws lock it up. I’ll be dead before I run out. So will all 400+ of the feral rabbits in the canyon (22LR) and probably by then I’ll know how to and how not to prepare gopher.

        Practice while you still can. Also, have 6+ weeks of food.

    • Indeed.
      I don’t have nearly what I would like to have but few things are ever ideal. I’ll likely be fine as well. Ideally, anything between 1,000 – 15,000 per weapon system, per person. Triple it if the weapon has a giggle switch.

    • I stocked up on 7n6 when it was dirt cheap and buy 7.62×39 and 556 when I find a good sale or rebate.

      I have more than ill be able to use in my lifetime.

  1. The 2 shells in my double barrel are plenty. I can just go out on the balcony and fire 2 blasts in the air and scare anyone off.

    • OR, just blast through the door at the stranger on the other side (yeah, he said that too)…

    • Realistically, a shotgun and 20 rounds of buckshot is probably good enough.

      We aren’t quite at Mad Max world yet.

      That said, I personally have more guns than fingers, and have a healthy supply of ammo. I want to be prepared for Mad Max world if necessary.

  2. You should never not be buying ammo. Well, not in times like right now but in normal times. Budget for it like an IRA and put a little into ammo every week or month. If you get a nice bonus pick up a case. Apply Dave Ramseys money method to ammo purchasing.

    • How much ammo? As much as you can safely store combined with how much you can afford to buy.

    • That’s where I failed. After Trump got elected I started slacking off and only picked back up when some stores started kicking out guns and ammo.

      Now I’m okay but I’ve got less for my latest purchase but it’s only a close in defense weapon anyway.

      And as to .22lr, you may not need much for defensive purposes but if things go really really bad having a lot may mean the difference between eating and not eating. Just sayin’

        • Heck, all I need is a pellet rifle and I can bag a mess o squirrels in less than 5 minutes, go pick up the carcasses, and in about 15 minutes, there’s another mess just waiting for me.

  3. What about 4,500 rounds of .223, 9mm, 45auto, 30-30 and 30.06 combined, and more than one rifle or pistol that uses each of those?

    Asking for a friend.

      • For 99.999999% of TTAG fans, not a single round will be fired at another human as a result of this virus. I am not knocking having a stockpile of ammo, I have well over 10k rounds, but how much ammo is enough is the question, and what a loaded question it is. For a gun guy or gal, no amount is enough, but a better question is how much is needed. The answer would be no more than needed for practice and to keep primary defensive weapons loaded. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have more if it makes you feel better, but I would reference back to my first sentence. This virus is way overblown. It is nothing more than a beefed up flu. The only thing to fear is fear itself. Unfortunately, there is plenty of fear to go around.

        I welcome responses one year from now telling me I am wrong.

        • Says the guy with more than 10,000 rounds… Dude 15,000 is my normal level (was, before the boating incident that is), I did not run out and buy up all the ammo I could find and I’ve not seen many posts referencing anyone hoarding ammo or running in fear of this thing, however just sitting back watching the general public panic and clear store shelves in a day and a half should at least get your attention… What If? the next time it’s the real deal, truck drivers can’t get from point A to point B, Food processers shut down, farming comes to a halt, a major power grid goes down for a week or more… Then how much ammo do YOU NEED to protect yourself, your family and your stuff… This society is so fragile so easily set off and it’s obvious that we have a news media that will not hesitate to take advantage of anything that could get them started… You’re right, noone on here will likely need to shoot anyone over this, but you cannot say that noone anywhere will have to defend themselves as a result of this “beefed up flu”… BTW 2010-2019 “regular” old every day infuenza killed an average of 37,000 people a year (low of 12,000 in 2011/2012 to a high of 61,000 in 2017/2018) wonder how this “beefed up” version will shake out in the end with over 10,000 deaths since December? (3 months) FYI.. I’m more concerned about those dumbass Millenials that are calling this thing “Boomer Groomer” laughing about the older population being more susceptible to the more serious aspects of this virus and hoping they all die off and get out of the way….

        • It’s not a beefed up flu, flu kills a lot more yearly and is indiscriminate. This virus targets primarily the elderly and infirm.

          This is flu’s little cousin.

          As a physician, I’m baffled by the fear and the mob mentality that is running our government right now. I don’t need a year to call BS on this.

        • LilJoe, the virus ain’t the problem, it’s the panicky, scared people. A single spooked cow can stampede a whole herd. A couple of douchebags can turn a crowd into a violent mob.

          • Just run a 30 second blurb on the evening news with video of a couple of empty store shelves and it’s done, hell all they had to do to start this one was mention stores MIGHT run out of TP…..

        • @like, I couldn’t agree with you more that this thing is way overblown. I dont need a year either to know that the government has overreacted. In life people get sick. I feel like it is articles like this that exasperate the situation.

        • ‘liljoe
          It is abundantly clear you are not a physician.
          Everything you just said is wrong.
          Everybody please listen to real expert advice.

        • Jr.

          Go back to my comments over the years, or don’t. If I’m not a doctor I set up a really good backstory over the past 9 or so years.

          FWIW I’ve been a community pediatrician for over 12 years now. But I get it, if what I say doesn’t fit your preconceived notions you’ll find a reason to disbelieve me so u can stay comfortable.

          You can google cdc influenza burden 2019 and see current estimates for flu deaths this season for the US alone, then compare it to corona death estimates so far worldwide. Then tell me which one is worse? The counter argument is going to be estimates of what corona could do, estimates based on? China is a reality location, worst case scenario, didn’t lock down communities for months, their fatalities is under 4K, for a 1.2 billion population.

          Wanna bet the estimates you keep seeing are way overblown?

          • Wanna bet the estimates you keep seeing are way overblown?

            Wanna be the Chinese numbers are way UNDERblown?

        • 1000% agree. In fact I think less rounds will fired period during this media hyped common-cold hysteria. Why?

          Because everyone bought it all up, so people shoot less because they are not sure when they can get more. Also with the millions upon, millions of jobs lost because of the media driven stupidity Joe Gunuser has lost both his job and his mind and so he will spend what little money he has left to fill up the tank and go TP hunting. Why get more ammo when you can unlock the next achievement when you hit 500 rolls of TP in storage!!

          Of the .01 % that have to use a gun during this time, it very well could be crime, violent crime or home invasion has gone up because of idle hands….and that is maybe.

          Oh and I have enough ammo. I buy it when it is cheap, like say September/October of 2020 when the panic is mostly gone down and the ammo companies are starting to lay off the 3rd shift they brought on because they have way more ammo than they can sell.

        • I disagree. It’s not the absolute death rate expected, which by last modeling is 1.1 million in US (not a huge deal in a country of 300M plus). It’s that this virus has a higher rate of transmission, asymptomatic shedding, persists longer in the environment, and there is no treatment. More people have hypoxia (low oxygen needing supplemental oxygen and a hospital bed), and more people need ICUs and ventilators, with longer times in the hospital and they will need so over a period of extreme surge when staff and supplies will be hard to come by. Speaking of which, many hospital staff will not show up, and doctors will get sick and be out quickly. PPE is already short, and we haven’t begun to see the surge in patients. Hope you don’t have any regular healthcare needs during all this, there will be no room at the inn for your stroke or heart attack or COPD exacerbation. There will be many many secondary deaths due to interruption in healthcare.

          Take a third of first responders out sick or quarantined, and truck drivers, and fuel deliveries, etc. and there is no supply chain = no food. Cities, which on a good day, are a tinderbox-desperate with nothing to lose and no one to keep it in check, will implode almost immediately. Call in the National Guard, but they are also sick, and worried about their families so they will be spread thin.

          This is very very different than a focal Katrina issue, or a localized and non infectious issue. This is huge. There is no one to call when it goes bad, we will all be in it. I hope I am wrong, but nothing I have seen, read, or personally been responsible for planning says this will be anything but catastrophic. For most, the virus will be a mild to moderate flu, just like every year. For some, and not only the ‘old and infirm,’ it will be fatal, or worse would not be fatal if spread over a longer period of healthcare need (thus what social distancing, quarantine, and shut downs are for). COVID19 being more severe, and hitting at once, will destroy healthcare and the economy simultaneously. Summer will bring some relief, and easing of social distancing, but without a vaccine, Fall will come back with an unchecked surge in cases.

          If I am wrong, then my hospital who just cancelled all of the very lucrative elective surgeries to make room, all the states who are losing hundreds of millions of dollars shutting themselves down, and all the data from Italy, is just a giant multi-billion dollar joke.

          The only hope we have for healthcare is spreading the demand out, we cannot stop this, but spreading it out means months of isolation: no work, no wages, an economy in collapse and millions in desperation. We are damned if we do, damned if we don’t.

          I hope I am wrong and I can laugh red faced about my alarmism in a year, but this appears to be the calm before the storm. God help us all.

        • Robodoc

          They will go to medical rationing, which nobody wants to talk about yet.

          ICU usage for covid is about 10-14 days. Yes, the ICUs will get full. But they will start picking and choosing who gets to stay in it.

          We do it in NICU all the time, it’s why we spend less effort trying to resuscitate a 22 weeker vs a 24 weeker.

          I’m not saying people will die, but what we are doing now is useless and only delays the inevitable. All while destroying the economy.

          • “I’m not saying people will die, but what we are doing now is useless and only delays the inevitable. All while destroying the economy.”

            Really? What we are doing now is useless?
            Though it is probably inevitable that most everyone will eventually be exposed to the virus, you’re saying it is a waste of time and resources to delay the exposure so everyone that is going to need treatment has an opportunity to receive it? With that kind of thinking, why don’t we just not treat anyone and not waste any effort on fighting the virus? We could send infected people door to door so everyone who can get it will. That way, 10 day – 2 week incubation + 10 day – 2 week recovery (that is if they recover and don’t die) the whole thing can be over in 3 or 4 weeks. RIGHT? You’re an ass.

        • Hound dog, thank you for your feedback.

          What do you think is happening now?

          Assuming total lockdown or shelter in place, the virus stops spreading. What happens immediately after the lockdown ends? It starts resurfacing and starts spreading again. What do we do then? Go right back into lockdown?

          We aren’t flattening the curve, with a lockdown we are moving it along the x axis (time). If a cure is developed then moving the slope is a good thing. But right now there is no cure, some promising therapies, but no cure.

          So tell me, wouldn’t it make more sense to lockdown and shelter in place the elderly, immune compromised, those with health issues that would kill them with this virus? Keep them in lockdown and let the rest of us get it and build up herd immunity. Then once we have herd immunity, allow those people to come out of lockdown?

          Doesn’t that make more sense than destroying the economy and just pushing off the inevitable surge?

          While I Don’t appreciate your straw man argument and putting words in my mouth, I do have some idea about what I’m talking about, and this method has been modeled as well, and it shows less deaths and strain on our health system than the current lock everyone away method. You can google it, the scientific journals aren’t hiding anything as far as I know.

          But go ahead and tell me I’m an ass. Makes you feel better, right?

    • Over 26K here, 22lr, 9mm, 10mm, .380, .45, .40, .35.38, .223/5.56. 500 rounds of 12 gauge, and I will keep on buying.

  4. My balance until the lottery comes through:
    Keep minimum of 700 rounds each of .380, 9mm, 38spec.
    And 2,000+ rounds of 22lr.
    Keep two pistols of each caliber.

      • 9mm carbine
        Bolt action 30-06 and 7mm mag.
        Two 12 ga, one 20 ga
        one 410
        And one Circuit Judge, which is way too much fun to shoot.

        Other than the 12 and 20 gauge I don’t stock up on these.
        Bolt action too slow, not good for close in work.
        Circuit Judge = $1 round+/- (45 Colt) and can’t afford to stockpile those.

  5. PRIOR to the GREAT “boating incident” of 2019 (truely a heartbreaking day) mine was 11 rifles, 2 revolvers, 2 12 gauge shotguns (pump and coach) and 5 semi-auto pistols with 15/20 thousand rounds of assorted ammo….

  6. Right now my wife has me making vegan curried broccoli chickpea salad rather than running my loading press:-)

  7. I keep about 100 rounds of quality defensive ammo in each of my main calibers – 9mm, .357, 5.56, & 12ga . How many people do you really expect to be shooting?
    I also have a shitload of cheap range ammo but that’s just so I can still shoot for fun if ammo prices go through the roof or supplies dry up for whatever reason.

    • JR
      Hopefully shooting no one but being prepared.
      Another site mentioned a California lady being mugged for her groceries today.

      As has been mentioned many times here and other places marksmanship goes downhill quickly when adrenaline kicks in. Plus human targets move, duck and sometimes shoot back.

      Aside from .22 I have about 1000 rounds per firearm and reloading setup.

      • Speaking of muggings and inmates being released early, and the possibility of increased criminal activity as the desperation sets in…

        I live in northern L.A. County, where it’s common to see at least a half dozen LASD and Highway Patrol vehicles on a daily basis, if not more. It’s a relatively safe, family oriented community.

        I have not see a single LE vehicle this entire week. Not one.

        • I Haz a Question,

          I have not see a single LE vehicle this entire week. Not one.

          Neither have I and that really jumped out at me today as I topped off my supply of a couple food items.

          In the immortal words of the Star Wars character Han Solo, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

        • I’ve seen 2 doing traffic duty Thursday. I “heard” several were at Kroger and Walmart keeping the peace this Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday I saw 3 units interviewing a homeless man walking down my street. Otherwise way fewer than normal.

      • “Another site mentioned a California lady being mugged for her groceries today. ”

        This right here is “panic inducing reporting.”
        People are mugged for their groceries every day, in pretty much every large city.
        Studies using mice and rats show that when crowding reaches certain levels, they start turning on each other. Some of our larger cities approach those levels; add in the fact that some people are just plain evil, and such crime becomes “normal.”
        The only reason it’s being reported now is because, “If it bleeds, it leads.” What the editors think is sensational, they run with it, no matter what it is. This is why we see and hear about “mass shooting” so much; it’s sensational. The fact that it’s also rare is just the icing on the cake to them. What we don’t hear about is the guy who helped his neighbor for running errands; who wants to hear about t hat?

    • “How many people do you really expect to be shooting?” What ever the body count is that gives off enough smell of death to repel all others.

      • Same here, I don’t expect to shoot anyone either. However in a range of 3 to 16 miles west of me there are 5 different college campuses. The largest being the University of Michigan in the leftist hell hole of Ann Arbor. If the SHTF, my expectations might change and I really wouldn’t want to run out of ammo.

  8. As much as you can afford and have a good place to store it. This cycle of panick buying when there is nothing available is nuts. Happening now, happened when suicide clinton was running for President, happened when barry odumbo was in office. It will happen again and again and at some point, with the right (wrong) situation it could happen and not recover.

    • “A good place to store it” is where I run into trouble. Ammo takes up a lot of space, and weigh a ton. And I have run out of room unless I add shelving in my already crowded garage.

  9. By my reckoning I’m doing OK. NOT going hunting or competing. My skill is sufficient I won’t be burning through ammo for months. At least until the plague passes…waiting to see if fatboy Prickster will announce martial law. Not…..YET.

  10. I will say that the idea that hunting shotgun rounds can’t be pressed into defensive service is silly and over broad. I have a few boxes of American Whitetail slugs sitting in my safe I bet they’d work out just fine.

    In terms of how much to stash, I’d want 1Kish for my rifles and say 500ish for the hand guns minimally. If you’re actually going through that much ammo in this country chances are you’re going to want to avoid conflict due to the lack of hospitals and the unpleasantries that would happen to you if you got hit with a round knife or whatever.

    • I think he meant bird loads. 1 oz slugs are de rigueur for defense use. Sabot slugs are rifle accurate to 100 yards and particularly destructive. Deer don’t get up after a shot and they are tougher than we are.

      • Even bird or target shotgun loads can be pushed into a defensive use if there is nothing else left. If you cut the shell almost all around between the powder load and shot, it will rip apart and hold the shot together in flight, so it acts almost like a slug. Not a good idea to fill the mag tube with pre-cut shells though.

  11. Every visit to my local GS I make it a point to leave with ammo, cleaning stuff, mags guns, targets or a combo thereof. Sometimes I buy 50 rounds sometimes 1k. I dont shoot as much as I buy so I have a good supply right now.

  12. Anti gun media propaganda creates slackers and divisevness amongst gun owners. When it comes to the AR15 it’s been labeled by the media as an Assault Weapon which is total BS. Many in the shotgun and hunting rifle crowd fall for propaganda without realizing their shotgun is a riot gun and that hunting rifle is sniper rifle and they are next on the list of firearms targeted by sicko anti gun zealots.
    What can be done besides joining a gun rights org? The shotgun and hunting rifle crowd can get off their politically correct behinds and purchase an AR15 and tell the marxist media to take a hike.

        • Fudds will even get interviewed saying a box (20 rounds) is all they, and everyone else, need per year. A few rounds to sight in and rest for hunting season.

      • That’s because you’re a low IQ individual….. don’t worry, it’s over your head anyway

    • @Debbie W.
      Regarding the AR15: My son has one, which I have fired, and I don’t like it very much. That’s because it doesn’t seem to fit me very well and is uncomfortable to shoot. HOWEVER, in addition to my FUDD guns (which ARE fun to shoot), I have an M1 carbine (like the one I was trained on) and a Ruger PCC in 9mm. They both fit much better, and I think they are both fine defensive weapons. AND, the idea the my (FUDD) pump shotgun can also serve as a “riot gun” is not lost on me either. Just saying…

  13. At times like this. Like after sandy hook. Manually operated guns are king. 32 S&W is still very much available in my area. Also .38 and .357 are also in supply. If you have caliber adapters like I do for my Judge Revolver. You can shoot 5 different bullet calibers. I shot my henry 22 lever gun with Aguila 22LR powderless Colibri for over a year when no pistol ammo was available.

    • At my closest Cabela’s, 9×19 and .45 were out but plenty of .460S&W and .50AE. (not to mention .17HMR)

  14. This is why you have prepared brass, powder, and bullets on hand, and a way to make ammo from the parts. You don’t need high end equipment, you just need something better than a Lee Loader and a hammer. Make sure the brass is ready to load including primers, since prep is so time consuming, and your tumbler may be dead if the power is off.

    Range ammo is fine as a reserve and for its trade value. I would not feel bad if that is all I had when a bad guy came through my door. Defensive ammo is great but if you don’t have it, it isn’t a huge problem. Just do triple taps instead of doubles….

    If you have several thousand rounds of cheap stuff and not many HPs, big deal. It all goes bang.

    • Regardless of how much ammunition you have on hand, it is a really good idea to have the capability to make more if necessary.

      If you compete regularly, the cost of reloading equipment can be recovered in a year or two.

  15. I have only a couple of boxes of each caliber of defensive ammo for my handguns and ARs, but I have several thousand rounds of “Plain old ball” ammo. Target fodder? Sure, but 45 ACP Ball served our military for over 70 years, and 7.62×51 Ball and XM193 worked pretty well, too. If I run out of defensive ammo, I will not put those guns on the shelf, I’ll stuff them full of plain old FMJ, and I will still sleep soundly.

    • News flash, there is no such thing as “target/plinking ammo (unless it’s .22) It’s ALL deadly a FMJ at 2400 fps kills just as dead as a hollow point at 2400 fps, call it what you like but a 10mm flat top is just as deadly as a 10mm jhp. I don’t buy ammo to play I buy ammo for it’s original intent and then I take it out to play….

      • It’s not just as deadly. It is however probably still plenty good enough, especially the rifle rounds.

      • Even lowly .22lr would probably do, if it was all you had. If all I had was a Marlin 60, a Ruger SR22, and hundred rounds of .22lr,. I’d still sleep soundly.

        I am glad to have more effective firearms, and a larger ammo stash. Still, .22lr would probably be good enough.

    • Ball ammo in 7.62 is far from harmless. Ditto for pistol calibers. People act like fmj barely pierces paper.

      • Cause they Cosplay only at the range. I finally got out to the range today after 9 months of new born wife imposed banished. She said I needed to get out or she was sick of looking at my ugly face. Most of my stuff was filthy and desperately needed a cleaning. My glock was the worst, it barely would cycle cheap steal case ammo but my transferable AR was a nail ringer as always and dream to shoot with my Super Select-Fire SOPMOD (SSF®) Trigger. Fresh air that doesn’t smell like diapers and old milk is awesome.

        • I feel for you I really do I’ve been there and done that I’m just now getting back into atleast once every two months a trip to the range. The damndest thing is my range is a club and has wings on Thursdays before my wife had our 1st she loved wings. Then during her pregnancy she all the sudden hated them so no more guns and wings thursday for the guy.

        • I’m going to do you a solid here. If this is your first, you need to know about 10 mo sleep regression. Look it up. I’m living through that h3ll now.

        • He hit the sleep regression like train into the wall plus he has no teeth yet. So add that to the mix.

  16. Based on this author’s recommendation and other qualified authors I have read in the past, it is not unreasonable to stock 10,000 rounds per defensive firearm in preparing for a SHTF scenario. That’s what I have been stocking for, but yet to achieve. With regard to hunting rounds, all I can say is there are some great sales out there right now on hunting rounds and (for now) alot of them are in stock. To be honest, most could easily be adapted for defensive purposes if needed. I know if I was a bad guy, I wouldn’t want to be staring down the barrel of a 50 cal Beowulf…

    • Ah, yes, the indomitable .50 Beowulf. I almost built an AR for this caliber two years ago from a kit that was available from a smaller gun fabricator. They offered the complete upper as well as 10-rd mags.

      Like shooting a 12-ga with slugs, only in a compact AR platform and with 10 rounds. Kinda wish I had just gone ahead and done it.

      • Don’t think about it – do it! I picked up an inexpensive Beowulf upper from Atheris Rifle, purchased a bad a$$ muzzle brake from Witt Machine (make sure you ask for the 3/4-24 thread), built my AR15 lower since I had a better trigger and a rifle buffer in mind that would take a stock that has a nice pad. Definitely an artillery piece and great for hogs! Loud as hell though, so wear ear protection…

      • 500 Phantom is coming back. If you have more money than sense that would be an excellent choice. I have the no sense part of the equation but not the money.

    • 10,000 rounds per defensive firearm makes sense IF you are just as well prepared in EVERY other area of life.

      Debt free
      Paid off house
      $1,000,000+ in retirement funds
      $100,000+ in emergency fund cash
      3 year supply food
      Generators, battery bank, and solar panels
      1000 gallon propane tank
      Deep well
      40 acre retreat property
      Bomb shelter
      Produce all your own food
      20+ cords of firewood
      Sub 10% bodyfat
      Resting heart rate below 50bpm
      Paramedic certification

      A lot of gun people vastly overestimate the importance of firearms.

      It is fun to buy guns, gear, and ammo. It is fun talking about these topics.

      Getting of our asses, losing weight, and getting out of debt is less fun.

      Don’t be the broke, fat, indebted chump with the latest and greatest tactical gear. Make moderate efforts towards improving all areas of life.

      It you have 50,000 rounds of ammo, great! That is awesome. I respect that, if everything else is on track.

      If you are broke, fat, indebted, and have 50,000 rounds, then I laugh at you.

      • Great point. Get a fire extinguisher and med supplies. Payoff your car, and don’t buy again until you can do it with cash. Call your mom and hug your kids. Then buy even more ammo. Priorities. The sub 10% thing probably isn’t even possible again at this point, but I should at least be trying.

      • If things go so far south that we all need 10,000 rounds of ammo, I really don’t think the debt collectors will be much of a problem. And I really don’t think the cops will be checking anyone’s paperwork for concealed carry permits.

        That said, debt is never a good thing, so stay out of it and get your carry permit.

        • Debt is a good thing if money become worthless. Just think about all the great stuff you bought and now don’t have to pay for! Then you can laugh at those dumb stiffs like me who worked their asses off to become debt free.

  17. “If you are looking now you are far too late.”

    Yep. This is no the time to stockup. If you’re buying now, it’s because you have a new gun you want to shoot in addition to your other guns (cool, but budget carefully) or you’re realizing you don’t have enough and have to scramble (bad.)

    This isn’t going to be the end of the world, so buying a massive stock of ammunition at panic prices thinking you’re going to trade them for food is unwise.

  18. To loosely quote the Mayor of Baltimore “Heah guys, stop shooting each other to save space in the hospitals for sick people.”

    When medical resource become scarce there is no such thing as practice ammo. A shot in the chest is going to fatal whether it’s a .22 or .338 Lapua. The only variable is time to death. So if you feel you had enough ammo to deal with bad actors before you have enough now. This is not the Zombie apocalypse.

    • since there will be arrests tapering off for the duration and we’ll all be free to loot and burgle to our hearts content, i think it only fair that gunshot wounds be turned away from triage for the same time period, as horsepistols will need the bedspace for the viral pneumonia.
      unless i get shot, of course.

      i think a case of ammo for a rifle, a shotty, a revolver and a pistol should always be on hand. “now” don’t enter into it.

      • That’s about what I have for each caliber except 10mm. I have half a case. I have 100-150 rounds of JHP in .380, 9 and 45. I figure if I need more it is the zombie apocolypse.

        • tdiivna, you didn’t mention rifle ammunition. Don’t you own one? 150 rds of pistol ammo is a good start, but still…

        • I have multiple ARs and bolt guns. I have gobs of 223/556. The bolt guns are for my Fudd side so I don’t have a lot of ammo for those.

      • thinkin’ they won’t all be hits. but even battin’ a thou’, i’m not droppin’ wave after wave. i’ve got enough crap to clear out of my yards as it is.

    • I would say a single box of 50 rounds of HP is enough to deal with this. Maybe at least two guns in case one gets seized as evidence after a shooting.

      If you have to use both of them that probably means you won’t have to worry about having them seized for awhile because apparently we’ve found ourselves in The Purge. Still, I don’t think a criminal is going to say “well he shot the first two guys, maybe he doesn’t have any more ammo!”

      something something make my day, PUNK.

    • That was a damn stupid thing for him to say, especially given the low (one digit) count of confirmed cases (not hospitalized, just cases) he has in his city.
      Really? Stop shooting people to save hospital beds? The criminals laugh. As though that’s a concern for them.
      His speechwriters and handlers should all be fired.

  19. You guys are nuts :). I am only half kidding. I say this as someone who has thousands of rounds of ammo and a reloading press – with thousands of bullets, brass and plenty of powder and primers – I know how to use in my basement. Exchanges of fire will be short in a riot situation, or if they aren’t, no amount of ammunition will save you. This isn’t Call of Duty. When people start shooting – people die or run away very quickly, and then they go pick on somebody else, or empty out your pockets and your ammo stash because you are dead.

    • More so than normal times bad guys are looking for soft targets. Any round coming their way is going to send them off to look for greener pastures. When they know the ER isn’t an option they will avoid gunfire I used to joke about posting a sign on my lawn during troubled times pointing to my antigun neighbor saying “I don’t have anything worth dying over. Try across the street.”

      • This right here. Even well armed asses won’t try someone who’s armed well. Plenty of fish in the sea who didn’t like guns. Most of my neighbors are in the soft category.

  20. Some think 20k of 8mm surplus a lot but remember if you have a registered MG42 & extra barrels that’s less than 20 min of firing!

    • Keep the bursts short.

      In the Close Combat real time strategy games, I preferred MG34 or even Maxim gun MG teams. The ammunition would last a lot longer. M1919 teams would almost never run out before the time limit was up.

  21. If there is no room for food, water, clothes, shelter gear and your wife in your vehicle because it’s full of guns and ammo you’re doing it wrong.

    • Correct.

      Seat the wife in the front passenger seat. Make sure she’s comfortable and her favorite station is queued up on the radio. Provide her with beverage of choice and lay a blanket across her lap.

      Then begins to stack boxes of ammo and all guns in the back seat area, using the footwells to handle the heavier ammo load and the seats for firearms. If more space is needed for ammo, utilize the floor under her feet and place the handgun cases on her lap. Don’t worry about hearing any objection…she’ll be too occupied with keeping up with her Facebook friends and seeing pics of what they’re eating for dinner. Continue to pile the boxes of gun cleaning accessories and DIY magazines (the kind you actually read, not the ones you fill with rounds) wherever possible, saving the lighter items such as the camouflage blankets for the wife’s lap until they reach the ceiling of the truck. If necessary, soothe the wife with promises of Starbucks at the next best opportunity to stop, and you’ll be fine for up to an hour. Make certain you have her phone charger connected to the 12v port to avoid the possibility of chatter.

      Once finished, close all doors gently and walk around truck to ensure everything is secure. If you can still see your wife, you have room to pack more. If you can still hear your wife, you forgot the Starbucks or the phone charger.

        • I hope your wife has as good a sense of humor as mine. Or you better not let her see this comment.

        • Haz,

          How do you get bolded and italicized text. I’ve tried Word, Notepad, etc with negative results.

        • Old Guy, HTML tags can be use in the text for bold, italics, or underline, or combinations. You have to use tag before the text to turn the feature on and a / tag after the text turn the feature off.

          • Thank you SC. Appreciate the guidance.

            Tonight is early to bed. Spent most of day at range cleaning and helping with maintenance…these old bones are tired. Will try HTML tags tomorrow (Friday) if the opportunity comes up.


        • Underline doesn’t seem to work, but strikeout does.

          Old Guy,

          Simply replace the “(” below with “” to activate HTML tags:


        • Crap. I fudged on the syntax in the first part of my comment above. But the lower part is good, so you get the point. I type too quickly sometimes.

        • You must use the [less than] and [greater than] symbols (over the “,” and “.” on a keyboard) to bracket the i, b, or s to get the effect, in my experience.
          Thus, to get italic, you must use [less than] i [greater than] i t a l i c [less than] /i [greater than] but with no spaces (if i used no spaces, you would see italic).

    • There are several RV customizers in the DFW area who will gladly add a serious gun safe and lockable ammo storage lockers to Airstream RVs.
      No need to pack ammo or firearms around the CEO.

  22. I would say as much ammo as you and others with you can carry. If you’ve 5 people that can carry 200 rounds in magazines for ARs and another 100 for pistols then 1500 is the minimum.

    No one is moving with 2000 rounds. And the key is moving because you are not going to defend a position very long.

    • Are you going to war? Boogaloo’s up? Did I miss the memo? Here I was just trying to live through a bit of a pandemy and panic caused dry spell.

  23. To an anti-gunner, I’d say a year’s supply of ammo is not unreasonable. What I won’t say is that I practice at least every other week, and use up to 100 rounds. Since math may be hard for them, I’ll leave it that, bless their hearts.

    There is no reloading component shortage as far as I can tell. Everyone must decide what their time is worth, but I’ll observe that the current self-quarantine gives us plenty of free time.

    … cue Styx’ “Too Much Time on My Hands.”

  24. Who writes these articles?. They must be board silly!

    Nobody knows what is ENUFF unless u have a crystal-ball to know the duration and intensity!

    Look up 60 gigahertz oxygen.

  25. I’ve got a decent supply built up. Aside from the occasional bulk purchase, I have made a point of buying just a little more than I just shot. Just shot 150 rounds of 9mm the other weekend and replaced it with 250. More would be nice, but I have enough I can weather a shortage and still go out and plink around occasionally. The Walmart liquidation also helped my stash quite a bit.

  26. How much ammunition any one individual has is relative. It’s dependent upon numerous factors but suffice to say if cops came in and seized it for god knows what, they’ll have written in reports things like “hoard” “amassed” “thousands” and such. Naturally we all know that thousands of rounds is nothing. Heck, that’s a few hours of shooting with buddies!
    In my view, a person has enough ammo when THEY say they have enough. Beyond that, it’s nobody’s damn business and what anyone else thinks is entirely inconsequential.

    • don’t want to be a spoilsport…but is it really a good idea to tell everyone what you have?…and when you post here that’s exactly what you’re doing!….

    • I’ve had people when asked how big is a thousand rounds of ammunition have said it must take a semi-truck to transport and a storage locker to hold. They cannot believe when I first point to a wooden box that contained well over a thousand rounds of rifle ammunition. And then I point to two bricks of rimfire ammunition and their heads almost explode.

  27. If you are spending so much money on any one aspect of your life that it harms other important aspects of your life, you have a behavioral problem.

    There was a fella’ who bought up something on the order of 250,000 rounds of .223/5.56 in the 2008 election panic. I met the guys who saved his marriage. He’d taken all these many different brands and emptied the boxes, filled and sealed white plastic five gallon buckets with lids on them. Stacked all these in the back of the family garage. Went into substantial debt.

    The wife unit had had all she could stand of this hoarding. To avoid divorce he agreed to sell it all. A gun shop owner teamed up with a couple of other buyers and bought all of it.

    They told me the story when I bought zip-lock bags of mixed brands from them at a gun show. I only bought around 500 rounds at the time.

    How much is too much? If and when you hurt yourself overdoing it, that’s when its too much.

    Same deal with pizza, beer, cheescake, steak dinners and single malt whisky ….

  28. There should be a contest, what caliber is the ammo in the photo?

    I’m going with 45acp final answer Alex!

    Checks in the mail.

  29. I’m still shooting Greek 30-06 ammo from the late ’60’s. In addition to the current situation, factor in a Democrat winning the Presidential election…..more roadblocks..sslloowwww approvals, attacks on reloading, gun makers, requirements for insurance, attacks on gun ranges, etc.
    Whatever amount of firearms and ammo you have, it won’t be enough!!!!
    Think of YOUR future generations…. bought cheap Tula ammo for a long time at Walmart.
    Sounds paranoid but think, did you ever think this current situation would happen?
    What will you leave your kids and grandchildren? Paper or hard goods?

    Don’t be surprised at some time in the future if the Federal government doesn’t computerize all of ATF’s records.

  30. I think it’s articles like this one that are fueling the panic buying.

    For anyone who thinks they’re going to need 10,000 rounds for each gun, go for it. You’ll use it up sooner or later, and it’s always fun just to look at it.

    Realistically, though, you’re likely not going to **need** anywhere close to that. When the shit hits the fan, the practice days at the range are over. They likely won’t want to open up, and you likely won’t want to travel through mean streets to get there and leave the homestead undefended while you’re gone. So those of us that routinely blow through 500 or 1,000 rounds in an afternoon won’t be doing that.

    Nor is it likely that we will be defending against mobs of crazed urbanites. The most likely scenario is a home invasion by not-so-determined desperados. One, two, maybe three at a time. And not very often, either. Most of us will not have to fire a shot. Some of us may have to deal with a single incident. Few of us will have to deal with multiple invasions. It’s more than a bit narcissistic to believe that every miscreant in the state is headed for YOUR house, every day. They aren’t.

    By all means, stock up if you like. But I think it’s a mistake to put resources into 10s of thousands of rounds unless you can really afford it. Allocating resources to huge stashes of ammo, basically just for bragging rights, that could better be used for other necessities is, IMHO, a mistake.

    • Tell that to the folks who tried to defend Hilltop with sticks, rocks and homemade blades.. They’re gonna have to go crawling back to Alexandria now….

    • You have to factor in the most probable threats. Home invasions from hungry and smelly people whose idea of preparation is to take from those who did have the forethought to prepare.

  31. For what it’s worth I have:
    100 9mm hollow point
    60 380 hollow point
    1000 9mm ball
    350 380 ball
    250 7.62x54R
    80 6 Jap
    80 7mm Mauser
    1500 22LR

    Come at me bro

  32. IMHO ammo considerations should be done by weight and bulk rather than explicit round-counts.

    As with anything with links to logistics: If you can’t move it to where you need it when you need to have it there then you don’t really have it. What you have is the illusion of having that item.

    How that applies to you and your situation is the open set of questions that can be affected by anything from physical limitations of yourself or family members to what vehicles you have on hand to how exactly your house/apartment is constructed and a host of other factors.

  33. Amount of ammo on your person right now: ~20.

    Amount of ammo you should have close by (nightstand, backpack): ~200.

    Amount in your car or other semi-ready location: ~2000.

    Amount in storage: ~20000.

  34. That answer is easy, it’s X+1 where X is the total number of rounds needed to fight your way to safety and or stop whatever threat you may be facing. The hard question should be, what is X

  35. The only way to control ones ammunition supply is to reload, if not you will find yourself at the mercy of events and have to do with not what you want or even nothing.

  36. If you can carry all your ammo, you definitely don’t have enough….

    I worry if my 530lbs is enough get me through when I really need it? A few more viruses and I’ll find out, I guess…Gotta love that well sealed ammo lasting many, many decades…”-)

  37. I just perused my mancave. I estimate that I have about a cubic meter of ammunition of various calibers.

    • “Those are amateur numbers. I go through at least two cubic meters a day, once in the morning after I work out, and once after lunch. Soon you’ll be out shooting at the range and you’ll just be thinking about ammo.”

  38. The Military has approached this many times. Look at the loads of guys like SOG, Seal teams in the 1960’s(liked Stoners and would carry up to 1,200 rounds) or current ‘battle’ loads. 556 was picked since a small guy could carry 210 rounds, vs 120-150 7.62. Peace loadings…120 rounds 5.56, 30 rounds 9mm, 50 rounds shotgun. Combat used to be x2 That, 240 rds 5.56, 60 rds 9mm, 100 rds shotgun. Long action guns(like hunting rifles), figure 100-240, depends on what else you have to carry. Many LEO’s appear to be going to 3 spare mags on the belt. So, 60-69 rounds ready for pistol, shotguns, 5-8 in the gun, 5 or 6 stored on the gun, so 10-14 rds. Rifle, 60ish, 30 in the gun, and a spare mag on the belt or gun. WWII M1 rifle was 140 rounds, M1 Carbine 150 rds, 03A3 65 rounds, Bar 240 rds, M3/M1A1 260 rds, !911 21 rds. How much to keep? Training for a couple of years, so if you shoot say the FBI Q course for handgun as your standard you test against, then that is 120 rounds minimum per year by the number of people you ‘train’, a test is just that a test, training would be what you do to prep for it. If you and they are skilled, then the amount to maintain is much lower, if your planning on training those that did not work on it prior, you will need far more. Instead of how many rounds, measure in how long you can maintain your current training prior to resupply, or how long you many days you can shoot full load without resupply. Hunting rifles, figure a round or two a week for the amount of time you want to be able to use a gun rather than a sharp stick to hunt with, take in to account that some will burn out the barrel so having more ammo that it will last would be a waste.

  39. Okay, if your going to post this bullshit here you could at least get someone who makes an attempt to make sense, this is gross stupidity on display not to mention the blatant ignorance of this individual who apparently expects someone here to be stupid enough to actually expose themselves to a site that is recommended by a person who has no grasp of the english language and could not put more than two words together that make sense… Can’t imagine what you could possibly doing other than testing crystal meth or something similar…

  40. “If I ever kill you, you’ll be awake, you’ll be facing me, and you’ll be armed.”

    … which means I’ve just added to, not subtracted from, my total. Even if it’s a round you don’t own a firearm for, you do now.

  41. The powder horn of La Longue Carabine is full, and his knife is shave-sharp, although taking scalps is not his nature.

  42. I have enough guns and ammo on-hand to invade Grenada.

    I did inventory last week and found that I had 70,000 rounds of ammo and 56 firearms, various calibers.

  43. My belief is that regardless of the total ammo amount you should cache ammo, guns, food, and medical in locations both near (1-2 miles) and far (5-10 miles) and not keep it all in one place. Regardless of the SHTF senario, retreat should always be an option, planned for and practiced including rally points. Never put yourself in a position where you are defending a stockpile. Stay mobile and limit your equipment and resource losses if your position is overrun.

    • People saying they have enough ammo is like them saying they have extra money. Neither actually exist.

  44. I’ll be just fine. I even lucked out on a .45 that I just bought, because I didn’t own a .45 and I wanted a modern double stack as I only owned a modern 9mm previously. I have several C&R handguns, but nothing else modern (a ton of modern and C&R long guns).

    I managed to get some orders in a few places before there was a run on ammo (or maybe at the very start of the run?). I didn’t own guns in 2013 and get burned by cheaper than dirt (I’ve owned guns since shortly after, so I at least know what it is like to not be able to get ammo for your fire arm. For months). But I heard the stories. I didn’t want all my eggs in one basket, so I bought 4 or 5 boxes from a few different places hoping and figuring at least 1 or 2 would ship to me. So far I am 2 for 3 and the 3rd is saying they’ll be delayed probably another week or so. I’ve got 300 rounds RN and 60 JHP for it, for now. If the other pulls through that adds 400 RN and 150 JHP to the “pile”. It isn’t an extreme amount, but I figure that gives me plenty to make sure the gun is running fine as well as a few range trips and keep a few mags loaded up with JHP once I’ve run a few mags through to ensure it runs that fine.

    But all my other firearms I’ve got a small pile. I think M2 ball is my lowest stock for my M1 garand and I’ve got about 200 rounds. Tokarev is my next lowest and I think I’ve got about 250 rounds new manufacture stuff and about 400 round surplus corrosive stuff. .32acp is probably the next lowest amount on hand and it is just shy of 1k rounds.

    Everything else is >>>1k rounds. Well, okay, I might only have a little over 1k 7.62×51 and .308, but right now all I’ve got is a bolt gun in .308 I use for deer hunting. Though I do have all the pieces of an AR-10 sitting in a parts bin that I just haven’t gotten around to building yet.

  45. Having ammo surplus is like having money, ammo is a good asset. It will not go down in price, lasts forever and will always be worth something.

    What amazes me is some ammo hoarders I know actually don’t go to the range much or practice much.

  46. I agree with everything you wrote. However, I do have something to add. Movement is life. Bugging in works just fine for the billionaire with a fortified, stocked, underground lair to retreat to. But, even he/she will run out of bullets, food, water , etc some time. At some point they (like the rest of us) will have to venture out and scavenge for supplies. Including ammo. You cannot haul 2,000 or 5,000 or 10,000 rounds around with you. Even 1,000 rounds in a back pack is unrealistic to assume you can carry. And if you think you’ll have the luxury of tossing it all into the boot of your 4×4 SUV, you’re mistaken. No. Move early. Never stay in one place for more than 12 hours. Scavenge what you can find along the way. But, stay mobile. Let’s face it. IF it’s a SHTF situation, all the guns in the world aren’t worth a damn if you can’t take them all with you and feed them when they’re empty. Improvise, adapt and overcome. Remember? Can’t do that in your two bedroom flat on the 5th floor with 30 guns and 25,000 rounds in cases.

  47. Reloading is the other side of stocking.

    Bought my Dillion 550B in 1990 along with my hk911 and colt 10mm gold cup delta elite.

  48. One of the questions that bears on this issue is how many gunfights anyone can expect to survive.

    To use the Miami 1986 FBI shootout as an example and taking your shot count as accurate, the 145 shots fired in five minutes resulted in two of eight FBI agents dying, four of eight FBI agents wounded badly enough to need prompt medical help to survive, and only two of the eight FBI agents having light enough wounds that they could have survived without medical help. In a true SHTF scenario, medical help wouldn’t be available. If we look only at the FBI side of the equation, that’s a 75% fatality rate. Both of the bank robbers died in the street. If we add them to the calculations, then 80% of the people involved in that shootout would have died under SHTF conditions. I don’t know whether your 145 shots was just the FBI shots or whether that included the shots taken by the bank robbers. If that number included only FBI shots, then maybe the whole shootout was 200 shots by both sides. If 8 out of 10 people died per 200 shots in that kind of wild melee and those numbers translate to a modern SHTF scenario, most people will die before they’ve fired 400 shots. In that shootout, I think the most shots were fired by the bank robber with the Mini-14, and he fired maybe 60 shots. That runs the number of shots before death down even further.

    In a home defense scenario against the typical two to three intruders, someone who has a good plan and good warning (which also comes from preparation) has a good chance of ending the invasion with only a few shots fired. Once one or two intruders are shot, the others will likely flee. Maybe that person will face that scenario a few times a day for a few weeks at a time, but that’s not likely unless there’s some reason that attackers will continue to target that house.

    In a home defense scenario against a horde, a person isn’t likely to be able to make more than two magazine changes before they overwhelm him. If the mob is going to rush forward heedless of losses, one person with an AR-15 can only stop so many of them. They aren’t likely to signal their intentions and be rushing across an open field from 500 yards. Instead, they’ll be much closer and coming around at least a little bit of concealment. The only hope of stopping them is if the first dozen go down and the rest retreat. Because shotguns tend to be effective only within about 60 yards at most, a person using a shotgun to stop a horde of attackers has to dissuade them even quicker and will have even less chance of using more than a dozen shells.

    Beyond self-defense, much of the ammunition need will come from hunting. How much ammunition will someone need to keep the family supplied with meat until the crisis has passed? That will depend in part on how good a shot someone is and what game is available. If there’s anything to hunt, I still suspect that 500 rounds of .22LR will cover that need. If one has a good air rifle, then part of that 500 rounds could be in air rifle pellets. An advantage of an air rifle is that they are quieter.

    I like having a good supply of ammunition as much as anyone does, but I don’t realistically expect to live long enough to use that ammunition if I’m in that many gunfights.

    • I would say to that, a 1 in 5 chance of survival beats out surrendering your survival supplies to raiders to avoid an immediate threat to your life only to die slowly of dehydration or starvation when they decide they like your living arrangements and (if they haven’t beaten you within an inch of your life) put you out with nothing. If you are going to end up dead anyway you have a civic duty to society to take out as many of them as you can so they don’t have the numbers left to do the same to your neighbor too. Consider why we say “Remember the Alamo”. A just sacrifice is the moral choice over a surrender to evil.

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